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Feast of Saint Dymphna

(c. 7th)

Dymphna is a Christian saint honored in Catholic and Orthodox traditions.  She was the daughter of a pagan Irish chieftain and a beautiful Christian noblewoman.  Raised as a Christian, she consecrated her virginity to Christ at a young age.  Dymphna’s father loved his wife deeply.  When her mother died, Dymphna’s father was so overcome with grief that he became mentally unstable.  Unable to find another suitable wife of equal character and beauty to his first wife, he attempted to marry Dymphna due to her close resemblance to her mother.  Upon learning of his wicked plan, Dymphna fled across the sea into Belgium along with her tutor and confessor, Father Gerebran, and a few other close confidants.  Her father pursued them and eventually discovered their location by tracing the foreign money they used along the way.  He killed Dymphna’s confessor and pleaded with his daughter to return with him to Ireland to be his wife.  When she refused, he cut off her head in a mad rage.

St. Dymphna’s church still stands on the place of her burial near Antwerp.  There have been numerous accounts of those afflicted with epilepsy and mental illness visiting her tomb and receiving miraculous cures through her intercession. Because of this, St. Dympha is the patroness of those suffering from mental and neurological disorders and illnesses, as well as of mental health professionals.

Her feast day is May 15th.

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The beheading of Saint Dymphna by Godfried Maes.

Saint Dymphna, Patron Saint of Mental Health, the world is filled with stress, anxiety, and mental challenges.  Pray for us to have faith and patience to deal with all of life’s obstacles.”

Prayer to St. Dymphna


You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo

St. Dymphna, Patroness of Mental Health, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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